Atkins



Seeing red?

Dear Ace: I am very, very busy with many phone calls to make and errands to run. So many, in fact, that I have to eat and get ready in the car and sometimes I wind up running red lights. I’ve heard horror stories about how, in some cities, the cops have cameras attached to […]

Full of hot air

Dear Ace: Can hot air balloons land anywhere they please? We had one land on our field last Friday and it scared my dairy goats silly! When I arrived to see what was going on and ask if they had bothered to get permission, they said, “Oh yes, we have permission.” Well, I don’t know […]

Bicycle built for you

Dear Ace: Whatever happened to those yellow bikes that were set up around town for anyone and everyone to use when in need of a little free transportation?—Schwinn Dixie Ah, Schwinn, Ace remembers fondly that age of innocence when the sweet, idealistic liberals of Charlottesville still believed that the concept of community bikes might help […]

Sign Language

Dear Ace: plenty of billboards offer up worthy reading material as I toot around town. However, the one on High Street, near the Riverside, that says something like “Does Martha know too much?” is the one that really leaves me puzzled. Is the advertiser taking a jab at the hard-working hospital named for Mrs. TJ? […]

People who need people

Dear Ace: Everybody knows about Dave Matthews, but what other celebrities live in Charlottesville?—Teenie Bopper Put down that subscription to The Star, Bopper. While Ace is no groupie himself, he understands the need for some to live vicariously through proximity to wealth and fame. How better to keep our minds off of the drudgery of […]

Checking out the Bookmobile

Checking out the Bookmobile Back to archived page Q: Darling Ace: I keep seeing this big ol’ bus motoring around the city and the county called the “Bookmobile.” Obviously it’s connected to the local library system, but I’m wondering—what does it do? Who uses it?—Bussed a Move A: Book learnin’ always makes Ace’s head spin. […]

Weekend Cuppdate

Q: Hey Ace, longtime WVIR 29 news director Dave Cupp may have hightailed it out of town, but there are those of us who still miss him. I know he’s up in the Northeast and that he’s planning a new career in academia, but I want specifics! How’s he doing? Does he miss us? Is […]

Two tickets to Paradise

Q: My dear Ace, like any normal person, I’ve racked up a few parking tickets in my day. However, when the City slaps me one, sometimes it’s in a white ticket with postage-paid envelope, and sometimes it’s stuck inside a yellow envelope with no postage paid. What’s up with dat?—Peddie Krymes A: Oh, Peddie, like […]

Dark side of the vroom.

Q: Dear Ace, My eyesight’s not as sharp as it once was, especially when driving at night. I can navigate the city roads, no problem, but put me out on the dark county highways—especially Route 29N and Route 250 Pantops—and watch out! Why doesn’t the County provide streetlights on these two major highways leading into […]

Pol position

Q: Ace, I feel like a terrible American for saying this, but I am sick of this Democratic presidential primary stuff. Every time I look at the paper, turn on the TV or listen to NPR all I hear is Dean this, Kerry that, Edwards something else. Has the primary hoopla always been this in-your-face? […]

Candles in the windshield?

Q: I have noticed on Route 250E, on the north side from Sleepy Hollow Trailer Court to Floor Fashions of Virginia, there are several fields full of objects that look like candles. They have been there for a year or so, but nobody seems to know what these are. Please Ace, you’re our only hope.—Wicker […]

Stumped at the pump

Q: Hey Ace hole, I have an auto with a diesel engine and all’s been lovely ’til recently. Diesel has always been cheaper than gasoline, or about the same as regular. However, lately gasoline has dropped to as low as $1.64 per gallon while diesel is still over $2 at most stations. What gives? Has […]

Charlottesville’s Internet tendency

Charlottesville’s Internet tendency

Q: Dear Ace, I went to the City’s website the other day and clicked on a new little icon that sent me to this page that had advertisements on it, but also informational tourist videos about Charlottesville. Whaaaa? Is it an advertisement or is it something relating to City government and tourism?—Trava Ling-Willberry A: Your […]

The pungent truth

Q: Dear Ace, What’s that smell?—Patchouli Clark A:Wake up and smell the roses, Patchouli, because that would be you.    Naw, Ace kids because Ace loves! But in all seriousness. Given the distinct, often raunchy, smells that permeate our fair city, yours is a worthy question and took all of Ace’s well-honed investigative skills to sniff […]

Schools out early

Q: Dear Ace, I heard somewhere that the average Albemarle County school day is 20 minutes shorter than the most other schools in the state. That adds up over time to a crime! Can we really spare those precious minutes?—Charlie Frown A: Well, dear Charlie, do not believe everything you hear. Ace, for one, has […]

Milling about

—Probing Pedestrian, Esquire   A: Well, good Pedestrian, thou shalt probe no further. Ace appreciates any and all queries whose answering involves throwing on a hardhat and getting his hands dirty in the line of investigative duty. David “Scar” Hodo was, after all, Ace’s favorite member of the Village People. No construction man has ever […]

Dial tones

Dear Ace, What’s this I hear about my cell phone number getting released to telemarketers?—Chatty Cathy Well, Chatty, if you thought when you purchased your handy-dandy cellular telephone-o that you were safe from the grasp of telemarketers everywhere, think again. Looks like those peaceful, uninterrupted nights around the family dinner table are to be no […]

Stretching it

—Pynt Syzed A: Well, Mr. Syzed, first of all, Ace wants to know what crazy eastern European country you crawled out of, and as for your question, Pynt, “Anatomically correct?” Ace colors at the thought!  Composure regained, Ace put in a few calls to the friendly folks at Monticello and Montpelier, and confirmed that something […]

Pining way

—Bob Humbug A: I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, Bob, but perhaps ‘tis the season to finally purchase a faux Christmas tree—at least in the Old Dominion. Seems like the State agrees with PETA that fir is dead, at least in public places.  Last October the Virginia Board of Housing and Community […]

Dolley dearest

—Rude Thaw A: Well, Mr. Thaw, news of Mrs. Madison’s entertainment talents is news to Ace who, until today’s research proved otherwise, thought that Dolley Madison and Betsy Ross were the same person. Personally, Ace’s favorite dead Dolly is that sheep clone from Scotland, whose entire life’s advice regarding everything from entertaining to kilts can […]

The plane truth

—Fli-Curious   A: Well, Fli, though practically Lilliputian in physical dimension, the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport is hardly a stagnant, small airfield. Total passenger traffic this year had reached 301,122 as of November 19, an increase of 13.7 percent compared to the same period last year. So you’d be wise to wear your steel-toed shoes when braving […]

All in the family

—Scared Shifflett   A: Well ’fraidy cat, Ace delved into the annals of Virginia Colonial history seeking answers to your query. But before Ace regurgitates his research findings, yours truly, being a well-integrated member of Charlottesville’s social circle and acquaintance of many a Shifflett, can tell you that the names Shifflett, Shiflett, Shifflette, can I […]

The moral minority

—Faith Chill A: Ace advises you to have faith, Faith. Most of the ministers who signed the quarter-page ad are retired clergy, so they were not breaking any congregational rules and they weren’t speaking for anyone but themselves. The one exception, Rev. David Takahashi Morris, who leads the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church-Unitarian Universalist, is allowed […]

For unlawful cable knowledge

—Mother Ducker A: Well, Mother Ducker, first and foremost: Comcast cable? Excuse Ace’s ignorance, but Ace thought Adelphia was King Cable in Charlottesville. Confused, Ace poked around the business listings in the phone book and the “coms” went as follows: Comair, Comberg, Combs, Comdial.  Ace then made some inquiries at Adelphia. No Comcast competition ‘round […]

Electoral knowledge

—Donald Bumsfelt A: Well, Mr. Bumsfelt, Ace, like you, has developed a true fondness over the past year of Campaign Reeject Bush for the project’s 38-year-old mastermind, who was first profiled in the pages of C-VILLE in the beginning of May. But sadly, after November 2, Schrader decamps from campaign headquarters (a table outside of […]

Say my name

—Mutt Bones A: Purrrfect! Ace has had enough of these doggone questions about who’s building what where and why those things are over there when they used to be somewhere else. Thanks, Mutt, for a question that makes Ace’s hind leg wiggle.  The first consideration when naming a furry companion is species. For example, Mutt, […]

Green acres

—Sierra Clubbed A: Ah, Sierra. Ace, proud American that he is, adheres to popular national slogans such as “bigger is better,” “richer is better” and “thinner is better.” Thus, had higher-ups in the office not challenged Ace’s wisdom, Ace would just have soon assumed that “greener is better” too.  As with all mortals, assumptions make […]